What Is Ecclesia Christi?
Ecclesia Christi is a media platform for formation and witness within the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Allowing God to work on our minds and hearts so that we might better follow Christ. Good formation in the Roman Catholic tradition requires a presentation of the faith that captures our attention, helps us to understand, and responds to our desires. To follow Christ we must see him, be captivated by him, seek to understand him, and desire him at the center of our lives. Following Christ makes use of every part of who we are as human persons.
The formation offered through Ecclesia Christi is indebted to a particular school within the life of the Church. Some of the 20th century's greatest minds and greatest servants of the Church established the theological journal Communio in 1972: Fathers Hans Urs von Balthasar, Joseph Ratzinger, and Henri de Lubac. Pope St. John Paul II said that these founders of Communio found a way to harmonize faith and culture in order to announce the Gospel. The influence and growth of the Communio school in the life of the Church has exploded in recent decades. The theological achievements of the Communio school provide access to the breadth and depth of the T(t)radition of the Church. At the center of the Communio school is the conviction that all good theology—and all good formation in faith—begins with the reality of Christ's presence in history; the Christ who is the fullest revelation of the Father.
That same point of departure stands at the very center of Ecclesia Christi: the formation offered here begins with the revelation of Christ, who is present in our lives and present in our own Archdiocese.
Seeing Christ is an essential work of faith. Christ is not an idea or a concept. Christ is not an abstract proposal for the good life given to us by philosophy or a reflection upon our common human experiences. Christ is the Incarnate God who redeems us, and the Christian faithful are members of his body: the Church. The Church—the mystical body of Christ—is where Christ is seen in the world today. The first movement of authentic faith is seeing a savior who captivates us so that we might seek to understand and to love him. A Christ we cannot see is a Christ who cannot hold our attention, and so faith becomes hard.
From the very beginning of the Church, Christ has been seen through the witness of the faithful. The witness of the saints is the best kind of theology because the life of every saint reveals something true about God. As the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council teach us, each member of the Church is called to sanctify the world in their own unique way; in the way in which Christ calls them (Lumen Gentium 31). The witness of the saints is dynamic and personal, not uniform and impersonal. The life of each Christian—the life of each member of Christ's body—is its own witness to the glory of God. Witness is how good formation is expressed, shown, and revealed. Witness is how Christ is seen within the life of our Church.
The witness offered through Ecclesia Christi aims to help the faithful see Christ at work in the Church. A Christ who is seen is a Christ who can be followed. And a Christ who is seen in Baltimore is a Christ who can be followed in our own Archdiocese.